March 1, 2021

And the Red Dragon Passes

by Emily Randolph-Epstein The dragons have a direct line to my mind. Their voices enveloping, filling, as though their warm, scaled bodies are at once wrapping around me and within me. They pull me now from deep dreams. “The Red Dragon passes. Attend at dawn.” A check of the weather app warns of snow today and dawn in an hour and ten minutes. There’ll be no lounging in the dark, warm bed this morning, not if I’m to clear the snow from my car and make the half-hour drive to Ashport. If I’m late to the Passage, then the Red Dragon won’t be able to reach the Eternal Sky. I…

March 1, 2021

Heart of Ice

by Anna Madden Ashmoda flew through thirsty air. Her sky-blue scales itched but were impossible to scratch. Sands flowed beneath her wings like a dead sea, the surface broken by scales of sapphire, mossy green, and red like dried blood. She landed, exchanging scents with dragons she knew, pressing snout against snout. Undersized hatchlings cowered behind weary dams–too lean, with dull, cracked scales.

March 1, 2021

Bliss and Abundance

by Nicholas Stillman The humans drew closer. Eightspeck heard of their resurgence through the chatter of clicks and stirring shells all around him. His fellow giant crabs warned him in unison about a massive change in the Earth-space infrastructure. He scurried crabwise along the particularly dense cloud of ammonia ices, frozen water vapor, and ammonium hydrosulfide crystals which formed a dark and stable gas belt around Jupiter. It all vibrated beneath him with the collective panic of millions. A dense growth in his mind shuddered as well, for he had a lifelong predilection for the human language called radio. Humanity finally jolted Earth, and his eight legs, out of dormancy.

March 1, 2021

How to Safely Engage in Telepathy with the Dolphins of Ocean Paradise

by Elizabeth Cobbe Welcome to Ocean Paradise Lagoon, LLC! Please read the following safety guidelines carefully before entering the lagoon. 1. Only swimmers age 12 and older may participate in our Luxury “Swim with Dolphins” Adventure Package. 2. While in the lagoon, you may interact freely with the dolphins. Those whistles and clicks you hear mean that a dolphin wants to use its powers of telepathy! Go ahead, relax into the dolphin’s long, soulful gaze, and allow your mind to meld with these good-luck creatures.¹

March 1, 2021

The Lonely Little Toaster

by A Humphrey Lanham With a soft clunk, the toaster landed on a sandy bluff overlooking the ocean. It flicked its pterodactyl wings just so, making the leathery membrane almost shimmer in the fading sunlight. It wiggled its toaster toes in the sand and sighed. It was a lonely little toaster. The only one of its kind. No one wanted it around. Humans screamed and threw things. Dogs barked. Wildlife fled. The other toasters gave it the silent treatment. (They were inanimate after all.) All the little toaster could do was travel the continent in search of a place to call home.

March 1, 2021

Dance of Wood and Grace

by Marie Croke They named me for the ground, for the metal and glows embedded within the lower recesses of the range: Dirt of CrystalSleep. They marked my forehead, in between my air holes, with a metallic-rich mixture that bestowed the blessing of the metal weaver faction. They had intentions for me the moment I hatched, before I’d even risen off the ground, sniffed my first redwood leaf or sung my first notes. Named for the mountain, blessed with strength, my tail fastened with many-pronged picks or double-plated maces, I was destined to be a metal weaver. And maybe that would have sufficed, had I not fallen from a woven…

January 2, 2021

Awards Eligibility Post for 2020

With awards season upon us, here is an easy reference list of all the original stories Zooscape published in 2020.  We think they’re all award-worthy.  We hope you think so too! Dragon Child by Stella B. James (3,900 words) Double Helix by Lucia Iglesias (1000 words) As If Waiting by A. Katherine Black (7,100 words) The Adventures of WaterBear and Moss Piglet by Sandy Parsons (900 words) The God-Smoker by Dylan Craine (800 words) Maker Space by Adele Gardner (4,500 words) When the Horse Came to the Open House by K. C. Mead-Brewer (700 words) Love From Goldie by David Steffen (700 words) Riding Through the Desert by Laurence Raphael Brothers (8,200 words) Fur and Feather by Ingrid L. Taylor …

December 1, 2020

Issue 9

Welcome to Issue 9 of Zooscape! Creativity… expression… transformation…  These are ways to be true to yourself.  Through creativity and expression, discover who you are in the first place, and once you know, hold tight to the truth of yourself, or transform yourself into the the person you’re really meant to be. All of the stories in this issue are about characters discovering who they are, holding firm to their principles, or finding ways to become who they’re meant to be. Maybe by reading them, you’ll find a part of yourself. * * * The Good Smell by Tim Susman The White Deer by Ian Madison Keller Shadowbox on the Tundra…

December 1, 2020

Travelling Along the River Bend

by Lena Ng The sun bathed the river with its glow.  The water glinted back in merriment, flirting and winking to all that it encountered.  Time slowed and breathed, it meditated and did not hurry the hours away, but flowed onward as the river itself.  The reeds bent in the lilting breeze, murmuring sweet conversations and delicious secrets to their companions.  The larks sang intricate melodies, their joyous hearts shaping the lyrics.  The lavender air refreshed the spirit and was moderate in its mood.

December 1, 2020

Self-Expression

by R. C. Capasso Arnold stood back, his chest heaving. “There. That’s it. Finished.” The rising sun cast soft light over his night’s work. His mother tried to be supportive.  “The individual pieces are beautifully constructed.” “And?” His expectancy made her throat constrict. “It’s just… ” “Say it.” Her voice was low. “They don’t connect. The gaps… ” He nodded. “Exactly!”